I’m walking down a dark, damp and scary hallway. I can hear strange noises around me. My shotgun runs down the hall and connected rooms, in search of any movement. Suddenly my eyes find an enemy demon. He charges me and shoots a fireball. But I don’t care. Instead, I am worried about my little boy in front of me. My robot son I jump forward, take the explosion and kill the demon. I turn around and whisper to my robot friend that he is safe and that he beeps, but keeps walking. I follow quickly because nothing will damage my Doom 3 turret drone, not on my watch.
Doom 3 was recently taken to PS4, Xbox One and Switch and finally I was able to overcome it recently. But although the shotgun was fun to use and kill demons it was exciting, maybe one of my favorite parts of Doom 3 was the little spider-shaped robot drones that can be found throughout the game. These sentinel bots are used for security and assistance on Mars. One of the first you find helps you reach a particular part of the base.
It’s amazing how small noises and small animations can help you connect with something as strange or mechanical as a walking turret. That is the key to my love for the sentinel robot. The noises he makes while walking are the best. They are small feet quickly stepping on successively and the beeps and boops that it emits after killing a demon or arriving at a door. But what really caught me was that if you delay or move away from the robot, it will stop and look at you, waiting. Maybe you could read that as annoying, but instead I took it as a warning sign. He is worried about me.
But while they look cute, they are extremely deadly. These bots come equipped with a powerful machine gun and have infinite ammo. They can easily cross packs of demons with little effort. This makes them extremely useful unless you are an idiot like me and you fall in love with these little ones. In which case, these drones become another challenge added to the level. Instead of letting him go on, killing demons and taking fire for me, he would charge around him to protect him.
My little friend was in a fight and alone. I needed my help. He often did not, usually won against most demons in one-on-one fights. But if I saw a demon hit my son, well, I wouldn’t take it well. Usually, I took out my chainsaw and sent a message to other demons. Don’t you dare to put a claw, a hoof or whatever on my drone boy or I’ll cut your demon’s ass in half with a chainsaw! Like Limp Bizkit, I actually pack a chainsaw.
He’s thinking: “Hey, why is this idiot exploring that dark corner? Follow me, friend, a literal invasion of demons is happening. Do you really need three more shotgun shells? Or those 5 pieces of armor? Really? Come on? friend, I don’t want you to die here. Follow me. ”
Then, once my brain gave these little robots personality and emotions, I began to see them as cute creatures that needed my protection. He would watch them closely, especially when a demon appeared. However, I’m only human, so I would make mistakes and lose them for a moment or get caught in a fight and I wouldn’t know where it is. In these moments it would run towards the noise of the shots.
I am pleased to report that during my Doom 3 game I never let a robot friend be destroyed. I originally wrote “murdered” in the previous sentence, but I realized that these things are not alive. They are just machines. But the ease with which my brain was convinced of the idea that these digital robots are more than just that, fragments of code and texture wrapped around a 3D model is interesting.
When we talk about the future of robotics, people sometimes debate how humans will react to the appearance of more robots in our lives. I think as long as they are not creepy androids, people will quickly fall in love with robot helpers. See the comments in any video that shows the Boston Dynamic robots. People get angry about how bad they treat them in the videos. We are really not that far from a future in which we all have small robots and people publish them online, like cat photos today. And I will be there with you, friends. Give me cute robots. I’m ready to protect and love them, like a puppy.